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Functional Movement: How to practise everyday movements and refine them

  • @oscarquine

There is technique to everyday life and perfecting it can do you a world of good. It's called Functional Movement. Sitting down, lifting a bag from a shelf, pulling yourself from the sofa upon which you fell asleep watching re-runs of Grand Designs – all can be done correctly or incorrectly.

"You should use the gym like a laboratory," says personal trainer Turner Moyse, pictured above. "Practise everyday movements and refine them. If every time you squat to sit down on a chair, you get it slightly wrong, after thousands of thousands of time, your back goes or knees are going to go."

So sitting mimics a squat. Lean over and you're performing a deadlift. Put your bag on the high shelf of a train and that's a shoulder push, pull yourself over a fence and you've just done a pull-up. The trick, says Moyse, is to prepare for every eventuality. "We focus on pushing, pulling, lifting, pressing: all natural movements of the body," he says.

So there is an optimum way to execute a movement as banal as sitting down? Yep. Lower yourself down, keeping your chest up. Make sure the weight is coming through your heels, rather than your toes.

If your knees kink out, twist your legs in like a corkscrew (and vice versa) while keeping your feet still. Chest up and chin out: not in the air or tucked in.

With the basics right, the world's your oyster, it seems. Moyse is soon to embark on a charity paddleboard across the Channel and back.

"If you're doing an endurance sport, you need to keep your body moving in the most efficient way," he says. "Or you'll be fighting against yourself."

Cheapskate's option: Er...

Turner Moyse (@turnermoyse) is paddleboarding from Dungeness to Boulogne on 14 August to raise money for Wings For Life . Donate at justgiving.com/Turner-Moyse